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Berman article published in ‘Utah Law Review’

September 26, 2010

An article by College of Law Dean Paul Schiff Berman, “Towards a Jurisprudence of Hybridity,” written as a contribution to a symposium on Non-State Governance held in 2009 at the University of Utah S. J. Quinney College of Law, has now been published in the Utah Law Review.

The article argues that legal mechanisms preserving spaces for interaction between state and non-state law may be preferable to either a hierarchical jurisprudence whereby the hegemonic state imposes a universal norm, or a separatist jurisprudence whereby non-state communities attempt to maintain complete autonomy.

Berman suggests that a jurisprudence of hybridity is potentially preferable because (1) it acknowledges the reality that people hold multiple community affiliations, rather than dissolving that multiplicity into either universality or separatism; (2) developing procedural mechanisms, institutions, or discursive practices that acknowledge hybridity helps to ensure that multiple communities are at least taken seriously and given a voice; and (3) providing space for multiple communities may result in better substantive decisions because there is more space for variations and experimentation.

He also discusses three existing legal mechanisms as potentially instructive examples of this jurisprudence of hybridity in action.

Read the abstract here.

Berman is Dean and Foundation Professor of Law at the Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law at Arizona State University. His scholarship focuses on the intersection of international law, conflict of laws, cyberspace law, and the cultural analysis of law.

Judy Nichols,
(480) 727-7895
Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law